Building a shower pan on a concrete floor is not a complicated process. It is only advisable that you build it, especially when the floor has not dried yet. What you do not need to forget is to have a waterproof shower. The main reason for this is that concrete absorbs water. This may lead to damage to the floor and finally the whole building. When absorbed by the concrete, water travels through the entire block.
If you notice that your floor is frequently wet, then chances are high that water seeps through the pipes to the concrete. How then do you build a shower pan on a concrete floor? Read through this article for more information.
Materials needed for the task.
- A hammer.
- Adjustable pliers.
- A hammer.
- Tape measure.
- Wet saw.
- Screwdriver and screws.
- Level indicator.
- Masking tape and any other tool as may be required by the plumber for the job.
What is the importance of building a shower pan on a fresh concrete floor?
When the floor is still fresh, it can be worked on rather than when it is dried up. Dried up concrete walls too can be damaged easily by making some cuts or holes into it. This is not the case always however, as a decision may come to you at a later stage to build a shower where none existed before. How then is the construction done? The steps below are quite useful to be followed.
Assemble the shower components as well as the shower drain.
It is good to have everything for the job-ready before beginning to build the shower pan. On the floor, where the shower pan will sit also needs some preparations. It involves locating the exact location where the shower pans will sit, having the screws and the wood ready. Another factor to consider also is to make the correct measurements of the items to be used in making the shower pan.
Install the shower drain.
This is where the shower pan will pour its water. Ensure that you set the tray at a level point. Connect the drain and adjust it appropriately. After connecting it, test it to see whether it flushes with the pan. Where it warrants, you can add the extension. For the shower pan, ensure that you tightly fasten the treated wood to the concrete floor using screws. This is where there is the entry of the shower stall. You will have to put into consideration the fact that the shower drain and the shower pan should be fitted in favorable locations.
After installing the shower drain, you will not attach the drain pipe and the flange to the drain in the floor. Then leave it and wait for the cement to dry. When it is dry, place the gasket on the flange then place the shower pan over the drain. Line up the drains body holes ensuring that the body’s holes and the screw’s holes are in line. The next step is to press the drain into place and finally attach the drain and screw it into place.
Test run the system by letting the water run through the system for a moment. Do not run much water at this time as the concrete floor is in the process of drying up. Confirm whether you have fixed the shower pan properly before proceeding to complete installations. As you tighten the screws be careful not to break the pan base.
Level the base.
Water cannot flow properly to the drain unless the base is level. By use of a level indicator, test the base for any non-level surface. Should you find such flaws, you will need to correct it while the concrete floor is still wet. This is one of the reasons which justifies why you should install the shower pan when the concrete wall is still fresh and wet. If it becomes a challenge to level the base thereafter, you may need to redo the base or even to make a provision by making a drain pipe from the base to the shower drain hole.
Make the shower pan to be waterproof by the use of some materials such as a vinyl sheet or even a hot mop together with tar. The use of a vinyl sheet membrane will require you to use the roofing paper first before applying the vinyl membrane. This is to provide a cushion or a space or a vacuum between the concrete floor and the shower pan. This is critical because the concrete floor absorbs water which may lead to damages to the floor or even the entire structure in the long run.
Perform the water test again.
At this point, you will need to leave the water in the taps to assess whether it is leaking and being absorbed into the wall. The process can be overnight. If you wake up in the morning to find out that the floors is wet or dump or even moist, then chances are high that water is leaking. It may also mean that the concrete is seeping in water directly from the shower pan base. You may be required to redo the entire process to make the base waterproof.
Another test which you will need to confirm is whether the system is running out the water well. Check to see if the pressure is good. You will also need to find out if the shower drain is taking out the water as expected. If everything is going on smoothly, the well you have done a perfect job. On the other hand, if you notice some flaws, you will be better to make adjustments in the early stages. The earlier you do the corrections because if you save them for a later stage, then it may be late to do the corrections.
Installing a shower pan is not a complicated process but it demands that you follow the steps listed above to the latter. Important things to check include ensuring that the base is fitted properly and firm. The floor should be flat. Make the system to be waterproof. Test run the system to ensure that it is functioning properly. Correct any flaws as soon as they happen. Keep the system clean all the time